Testing...testing...is this thing on?

Hello readers, welcome to the first installment of my tales from the road. I am 1 week into a 4 week tour with the band SS and thought I should maybe document what's going on. Backstory: I am a DJ and open for SS whenever they go on tour. Mind you, everything here is filtered solely through my goggles and therefore should only be taken as my humble impression and not viewed as anyone else's opinions. Having said that, "let's get celebrity-ed up!"

So our first stop was Zurich which I as I have stated before seems like they left off a couple Z's when they spelled the name of this town. Kind of a snooze-fest audience-wise. Quite frustrating really since my job is to warm the crowd up, take them from 0 to 50 so that the band can then yank them to 100 when they hit the stage. I could barely get them to 20, even trying every sad trick in the book. Luckily the next night we headed to MILAN which was fab. The Italians were certainly up for it. The venue was on the edge of town so I didn't have time to explore. The merch bootlegging there is absolutely insane. During the day, merchants set up rows of tables literally right outside the venue (about 40 yards long) displaying all variations of SS t-shirts for sale. Some with the most current tour designs. It's absolutely shameless and completely overlooked by local police. Apparently it's somehow tied to the mafia so the police just ignore it. We were gagging. And honestly, some of the stuff was really well done with color combinations that had some of the band a little green with envy. The only low point of the evening was that there was an opening act which was a woman playing acoustic guitar singing in Italian which brought new shades to the term brown. But nevertheless, things turned around quickly after and the crowd were whipped into a frenzy. At one point it sounded like people in the audience were being killed the screams were so blood-curdling.

Next stop: VIENNA. Due to an unfortunate sore throat contracted probably on the plane ride over, I have had to keep the partying to nil which. The upside of this meant that I was awake and full of pep and ready to explore beautiful Vienna. I spent the afternoon just walking around the city on my own, doing a little shopping, and watching street performers fend off non-tipping picture-taking tourists. In the evening me and some of the guys from the band decided to do a round of some of gay Vienna. First the Eagle. Yes there is seemingly one of these in every city in the world and they all apparently hire the same decorator thus diluting the kink factor of chain link fence. Fisting videos aside, it was all pretty tame with just a few old men lurking in the corners. They did have a back room which meant none of us dared sample the popcorn in bowls on the bar. From ther it was on to several other places that are nothing really to write home about, and this was a Friday night. Oh well. More later...
Original Post
Yeah!

First some back story on DJ Pickles...
As most of you know, Pickles is my DJ Daughter.
As a youngster Pickles worked for The Empress and I and was a big part of the day to day running of "Jackie 60", "Mother" and pretty much anything we did including the legendary "Grey Gardens". In fact, I named her "Sammy Jo" because he was without a doubt the "Heather Locklear" in our Dynasty family.

You can imagine my shock to learn that Pickles had secret DJ dreams and my total amazement at how good he was...
RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!

This was right before everyone in the world became a DJ. Every go-go boy, every drag queen, every East Village trust fund kid yearning for a life. (If he had wanted to become a DJ now, I probably would have just laughed).

My point is, Sammy snuck into the DJ world just before it became a joke. He learned "Old School". He went with me to the record pool and record stores, met legends in the industry. I remember taking him to "For The Record" (which was the first and most famous DJ record pool in the world. Pretty much any 20th century DJ that you have ever heard of is a member).
Judy Weinstein (founder and music industry legend) asked me after meeting him, "So who is he?"
"He's the future" I told her.
"Does he want to join?"
"No", I said.
This was interesting because before, any kid would have KILLED to become a member of "For The Record".
Times were changing.
I quickly learned that Sammy Jo had a lot more to teach me about DJing in the 21st century than I had to teach him!
("For The Record" is now Disco herstory BTW)

He would play things that totally confused me.
"Why the hell is he playing that?" I would think as the crowd went crazy.
He clearly had his finger on the pulse.
I watched him get better and better and was always disapointed when promoters wouldn't hire him or would stick him in some stupid side room when he was CLEARLY the real DJ.

I would tell him that someday he was going to get a break and he would explode. That some club would hire him and his night would go through the roof. It was just a matter off time.

What I didn't see coming was that it wouldn't be a club that showcased his talent but a band. (Again reminding me that we are not in the 20th ccentury and NY clubs are not what they once were). I went to see this band that he thought was so good at his (and Sweetie's) party CheezWhiz. There were about 8 people in the audience. I liked The Scissor Sisters but had no idea they would get as big (and as good) as they got.
He knew.

So...
As the DJ for "SS" Pickles finally has a dance floor.
The world.
Anyone who has ever called him knows that he is always somewhere. He travels more than any DJ I know so getting an inside look at the debauchery that is his life now is a real treat!
And by the way...
You should have asked me about ZZZZZZZurich.
I would have told you to skip her.
(Even Antwerp is more fun!)

But Vienna is a different story!
REALLY fun.
Love the old people! They are the crabbiest, nastiest crusty old things that I have ever met in my life. They ask you things like, "You are Jew?"
Hot.

You will no doubt come across a gaggle of Drag Queens that run the town.
Give Mario a big kiss for me.

AND GO TO THE PALACES, THE OPERA AND THE MUSEUMS!!!!!!
Thanks so much Daddy, my true Daddy! Let me deflate my ego now so I can fit in the dressing room to type the next installment...

VIENNA: The show in Vienna was fun and having invited the staff of the gym next to the hotel (what??? I'm just trying to be NICE!) it was a delight to have all these moosles lingering around the backstage after the show. Plus Lucas (of Bel Ami infamy) was there and I must say he has the most amazing eyes, so clear blue and soft. It was actually hard to look at him and not break into a sweat. Back on the bus and off to...

ISCHGL (Switzerland): Everyone was excited for this stop because we lucked out with a day off (again) before the show day. AND the show was to take place outside halfway up the mountain at 1pm. However, disappointment struck for me when I found out they have a dj that is contractually obligated to play before any of the concerts on the mouintain....whatever. But needless to say my wounds were soothed by the fact that we were booked to stay at a spa, which was cunt. Gorgeous sunny weather, outdoor hottub, steam/sauna rooms, nudity, what more could you ask for at a ski resort. Well the nudity was something I would have passed on as it was quite saggy (a la Messy Bonnie). Show day was fantastic. Bright sun blaring down on the mountain and 8,000 people in ski gear standing in the snow attemtping to dance in those clunky boots. Tons of crowned heads. Many jokes referring to the quality of "snow", talk of sex in the gondolas, and chlamydia jokes made it fun family entertainment. Although Jake hadn't anticipated how high up we were and so halfway through the show he was sucking on an oxygen tank. We joked about how great it would have been to switch it with a tank of poppers but I had left my industrial-sized one at home. 3:00pm-DONE. Off to our pool party at the hotel and what I thought would be a quiet night until I made the acquaintance of a charming Austrian who made sure I made it back to my room safely (from the lobby bar). Ooops, missed my wakeup call and had to pack in 5 minutes flat with the tour manager screaming down the phone "GET YOUR FAGGOTY ASS DOWN HERE YOU LAZY GIT!" He loves me. Goodbye Ischgl and my Austrian, somewhat racist, lover.

MUNICH: Having had zero sleep I decided it was best to spend the 4 hour bus ride to Munich looking out the window listening to 70's AM radio rock. I think it was actually more helpful than if I had slept. The venue in Munich was, to put it mildly, unglamorous. Basically a wharehouse that had what looked like train tracks that once ran right into it...eek. But the german crowd turned it out despite the language barrier seeming to get the witty banter in between songs. They certainly were the craziest crowd at the final encore "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'". More to come as we head deeper into Germany...

Attachments

Photos (1)
First of all Isla what are you doing in this blog?
Don't you have your own blog?
Where is DJ Pickles?

Anyway...
"ISCHGL"?
You're in deep sweetie, I never even heard of ISCHGL!
And the Austrian racism is kind of sweet don't you think? They are so innocent about it like little kids. They have no idea.
GET OUT!

Munich...
Much more fun.

(That's where the feminists came out to protest The House Of Domination when we did a Jackie 60 there).
Hello readers, I'm in Stockholm, it's 6am and I can't sleep (stop snickering Bonnie), so thought I'd use this time to catch you up...

STUTTGART- What has come as a surprise to me (and everyone on tour) is that the weather has drastically improved. It now feels like early summer with temps in the high 60's and super sunny. I'm telling you this it seems that even just a little sun therapy goes a long way to improving everyone's mood- both band and crew. It means sightseeing/daytrips are more likely, too. But not Stuttgart.

KOLN- Day off in Koln or Cologne, whichever you prefer. And although there is much culture to take in I set out with Del to just wander and shop. He's a great guide and we end up at an amazing men's suit store. Koln is one of those great walking cities that has maintained a village feel to it yet is very cosmopolitan. Again, it seems to be the first of the warm days and everyone is out in the cafes. It's a bit like NYC in spring when you can smell the pheromones in the air and it's not only dogs sniffing hineys in the parks, figuratively speaking of course. Here's the view from my hotel a cathedral that I forgot to get the name of. I'm trying to attach a pic but I think I have to have my travelling companion Nancy do it...hang on a sec.
Ok that's going to be annoying to have to rely on her for pics cause, well, she drinks a lot on tour. Is it because this account is new that I don't have the option to attach pics? ANy help is much appreciated...

But I digress.

KOLN- The night off in Koln we have the now traditional tour dinner where everyone on the tour gets together to wreak havoc on some poor unsuspecting restaurant. Due to the fact that our crew is mostly (all?) from the UK, copious amounts of beer are consumed and at some point when the belly dancer comes out I end up dancing on the table a la the bionic woman episode where she flamenco dances. Next day is a show day and I have the wickedest hangover since the tour began. Let me insert here that we have a fucking brilliant crew who make being on tour that much more enjoyable- zero grumpsters. And they love joining in on the campy banter. The show goes great for the band but I am disappointed in my set so I'm more than happy to hop back on the bus and bid adieu to Koln.

BERLIN- This is my first time in Berlinand I'm thoroughly excited to see what all the fuss is about. While the band is busy with a packed promo schedule, Randy (tour drummer- Paddy, the official drummer has sadly had to go home for family reasons which I won't go into) and I hop a taxi to Potsdammer Platz to see the Brandenburg gate and go to the Wall Museum. It is amazing to read the history of the wall and all the stories of people attempting to, and some succeeding at crossing over from East Berlin to the west, people stuffing themselves in car trunks, luggage, even hollowed-out speakers. I forgot how it is only in the last 20 years that it became a unified city. That night the show is superb and I have erased the memory of my Koln show experience whipping the crowd into a frenzy right before the band come on (thanks Daddy for the Depeche remix!). Everyone in fact is happy after the show and ready to hit the town, especially since it's Saturday night. First, we head to a club called Schvutz which is a great basement space. I understand now why they say nightlife in Berlin is so good. From there we head to a huge club called Berekime (sp?) that at times can be quite filthy, but in a sexy way. A voyeurs paradise. We've only got an hour and a half there and we spend it all on the dancefloor living for this electro dj. God it seems ages since I went out and danced someplace I wasn't working at! I have definitely fallen in love with Berlin after dark.

HAMBURG- The venue in Hamburg is conveniently located in the heart of the red light district where each block is filled with stripper bars and sex shops and I discover that there actually is a large market for straight scat/fart videos that I didn't expect. There is a series called Kaviar which I suspect is the slang or code for poo. Amazing. Leave it to the Germans... Correction, the Brazilians cause most of the videos are from Brazil. Who knew? Adam the wardrobe guy and I joke about the fart videos where the girls say things like, "My name is Suzi and I've had nothing to eat all day except pickles..." BAH! Also located near the venue is an amusement park that I can't resist. Another fun show at the end of which 2 super muscley men come onstage during Filthy/Gorgeous, strip off their shirts and make their boobies bounce to the music. Silly and hysterical. The crowd goes wild for it. Back on the bus for the 12 hour drive to Stockholm.

STOCKHOLM- It's a day off and my first time here in Sweden. Again we are blessed with gorgeous weather so it's a wander through the streets and coffee at an outdoor cafe. It's lovely here and the views of the sunset from the bridges are breathtaking. Me and some friends hit a cute gay bar that is quite dead due to the fact that it's Monday night. One forgets that NYC is very unique in that there is always at least ONE bar that is hopping on any given night of the week. Anyone who thinks NY gay nightlife is totally dead should try and find something to do in Stockholm on a Monday night. So we sit and get tipsy listening to Donna Summers' greatest hits....twice. Now here are some pics...
STOCKHOLM/OSLO: I am lumping these 2 days together because, well to be honest they sucked for me and why dwell. I wasn't happy with my sets and the crowd response was luke warm at best. The fact that the next stop is Copenhagen is the only thing keeping me off the ledge cause I've got a fierce crew there who are all coming to the show. I will say that for the band the audiences in Stockoslo were some of the best so far on the tour (yes, rubbing salt in my wounds, BAH!). But somehow I know CPH (flight-speak for Copenhagen) is going to fucking explode...

CPH: BOOM! My fave night so far on the tour. Well, a toss up between here and Berlin I suppose. It's such a dance-oriented town that people young and old in the crowd are going mental. I set them up nicely for the band to just knock 'em down from the first note. The band have a fierce show and are in love with the audience as much as the audience is in love with them. Certainly the loudest crowd so far. And I've said it before and I will say it again, these people are the most beautiful specimens ever. Not the swarthy, foreskin fiesta, pre-jail types that Daddy goes for, but true nordic gods with clear skin and beautiful drug habits. And the straight ones are very touchy feely, too. Swoon. After the show it's off to the afterparty with Del where we dance, drink, dj, and drool the night away. Now I have the day off in CPH so I thought I'd catch you all up. Sorry if I've been skint on the pics but all I have is my phone camera and it sucks so I never think to snap pics with it...obviously. Tonight I'm meeting my friends at the best restaurant in CPH called Umami. It's their version of Nobu, but relaxed. Then I'm supposed to play at 2 different places so we'll see how that goes down. Then it's up early to catch a plane to Brussels to meet the rest of the band who are already there in lovely Hasselt.

PS I am working on sending my recorded set from Berlin to the Mr Black website so if you're interested in hearing what I'm like on the road then have a listen. Go to www.mrblacknyc.com and click on "Listen Up". Moms, I hope interweb cross-promotion is ok.

XOXO
Thanks Joshua. It's all too true. And thanks AN!

Well, this morning at the ungodly hour of 7am I headed off to the CPH airport. Dinner last night was incredible and surprisingly FREE! My 2 gigs were fun and booze-filled and then I stayed up all night chatting with a friend just catching up. Feel like garbage today now that I have made it to....

HASSELT: which is in Belgium about 1.5 hours outside Brussels. It takes some dirty tricks but I get the crowd a little riled up but it's really Ana Matronic who whips them into a frenzy before Tits On the Radio. The audience is a bit quiet for a Saturday night but she inspires some mania and Jake eloquently states "Jesus this is a party not Barbra Streisand's funeral!"
oh pickle i envy you
i know hasselt well and spent quite a few summers at mryf which is only a stones throw further east of hasselt near grnd.
i remember all the villagers would come from their hovels each day at sunset to play a rousing game of snargt and boy they sure could swing those nyarks
oh what fun it was
Just catching up here...
I read your post about how you sucked in STOCKHOLM/OSLO.
Didn't you play those CDS I gave you?!!!!
Do I have to come over there and play them myself?

You have insulted me for the last time.
You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being. I don't give a damn that you're 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you're a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you do as far as I'm concerned. You have humiliated me for the last time.

Sorry Pickles...
Just feeling a little Alec Baldwin today.

I'm sure you were fine.
Sometimes "the crowd" just has an off night.

I'm going to go listen to your set now on "Mr. Black".
Actually, I have to record a show for XM Radio...
maybe I can use yours.
CPH (cont'd): So went to dinner with friends at my fave place and got turned out. We gorged ourselves on food and drink, including this very expensive champagne that frozen then uncorked to remove any sediment then recorked and kept cold for 15 years. Unreal. And the diunner was free cause my friend was celebrating her birthday and her man wanted to pay for everything. What a grift! My 2 gigs went great and I spent the night catching up wioth a girlfriend who made sure I didn't go to bed and pack instead so that I would definitely catch my 8am flight to Brussels. Poor Del though, he had to see the tragedy that was me that morning. But an uneventful flight and train ride brought us to our destination....

HASSELT (Belgium): Let me just say this was my layover to Amsterdam cause frankly due to my fragile state I do not recall anything about this place. It was one of those stops on the tour where all I saw was the tourbus and the venu. And the crowd was real low key. This was quite surprising since it was a Saturday night. Oh well. NEXT!

AMSTERDAM: God I love this town. And I'm not a big pot smoker- thoguh I do enjoy a muffin or brownie from time to time. I just think it's one of those fab walking cities with the canals and the low architecture. And the weather was gorgeous so EVERYBODY was outside at the cafes. I spent the day walking around shopping and soaking up the tres relaxed energy. I ended up meeting some UK friends who came over for the show at a lovely bar called the Queen's Head which looks right onto the canal. Here are some pics....
After the show in Amsterdam, which went really well though playing in a very large venue had everyone a bit nervous- they tend to be less interesting crowds. We all pile onto the bus for a rough 9 hour ride to....

PARIS: I have been feeling quite homesick but our pulling into Paris immediately wipes that away. I know this sounds extremely posh and pompous but having lived here as a student, it somehow feels like a home to me and I have no problem getting lost in its streets. First things first I beeline to Rue des Francs Bourgeois in the Marais (my fave district) to stroll past delicious falafel stands and great little boutiques and the Picasso Museum to which I have been to enough times that I feel no guilt not stopping in this trip. I know there are some who think the Left Bank is where it's at but I myself have always been and will be a right bank girl. I will always want to walk from the Bastille to Pompidou to Opera etc.. whenever I come here. Again we are blessed with unseasonably warm weather. That night we are playing at the Olympia which apparently has not been outside all day so don't know that they should turn on the A/C. It is absolutely BOILING during the concert. Having never played at a Paris show with SS I had no idea what to expect from the crowd. They were really great except for this one bear in the front who seemed so bother by the slimness on stage. He would not even look at me or the opening band (this guy Snax who makes me look like "the fat one"). It was hilarious. But of course when the band came on, and he obviouls was positioned right in front of Babydaddy, he screamed like a girl. Oh the bears...
After the show in we have to get right on the bus because it's a 14 hour drive to...

BARCELONA: Another fave city of mine the only unfortunate thing is that we are here on a Monday and Tuesday nights and for going out it sucks. But c'est la vie, right. The hotel we are booked into is clearly a 5 star place and it's located by the beach. It is absolutely beautiful and I get to spend my day off relaxing poolside and repairing some damage done by tourbus boozing. Monday night I make a dayte to go out with the head of catering, named Beevah, a fierce dyke who is an incredible chef who does all the SS tours. After an attempt to try and find an open dyke bar, we settle into a neon lit fag bar for endless vodkas. We end up at the only place to go on a Monday night, the Metro which is not even half full. Strangely enough I run into a guy I haven't seen in 6 or 7 years which is nice. Despite poisoning myself with vodka I manage to check out of the hotel in time but stay poolside for the afternoon. I don't even bother to site the city since I am coming back here in 2 weeks with a friend and will have to show her everything for her first time. PS I find the men here particularly stunning. It's a bit uphill for the women but sheesh the men are killers. Unfortunately due to my dimness I have left my phone on the bus and have no daytime Barcelona pictures. Oops...sorry. That night the show is fucking brilliant. The crowd, while slow at filing into the venue go bizark during my second set. I'm high as a kite just from the energy they are feeding me. I leave the stage to a roaoring cheer which is not so common on tour and is the biggest aphrodisiac.
After the show a few of us head out to a bar to soak up the last bit of Barcelona we can before we have to head on to....

MADRID: Now, it's difficult for me to give a fair account of Madrid because we awake to a very disgruntled crew who arrived to find that the load-in area has been removed due to extreme road construction and so all the equipment has to come through a hobbit hole down a narrow stair case. Catering can't even load in so they are frantic to try and find food to feed the 50 people that rely on them for nourishment to do their jobs. There is no internet in the building. The weather is cold and wet. And the area around the club (including the club) are reminiscent of Beirut, and not from the 50's. However, any malaise is easily wiped away once the lights go out and Madrid prove to us that Spanish people enjoy nothing more than dancing their asses off and getting fucked up. I have an awesome time and get to ambush them with "I Feel Love" when their not expecting it and it has beyond the desired effect. The room goes absolutely basllistic by the time the band takes the stage. Afterwards we file onto the bus for our very last bus ride.

LISBON: Last stop on the tour. Arriving in the morning we all bid farewell to our trusty driver Carl who takes meticulous care of us all. It is the cliché, we are a family. It is a sunny day in Lisbon and as soon as I settle into the hotel, conveniently located in the heart of town, I break out with my iPod for a nice long wander through town. Up and down serpentine streets and across huge squares I am immediately enamored of this city. By 4pm I know I have to head back to the hotel so that I can do my immense catch up job with you readers. It is the last night of the tour and everyone is in good spirits. Everyone seems real excited to be going home. The tour has gone extremely well but any moments with friends and family in NYC trumps any end-of-tour blues. Mind you, these guys have been on the road for the last 12 months with 3 more to go. I am a little sad that it's over probably because the last week has been so fierce. But still I think how happy I am that it is only 2 more weeks till get to go home. In no way am I complaining about what I get to experience and the opportunities presented to me, but I have not spent more than 8 days in my apt. in NYC since September. I just want to pet my cat and let her know that I still love her.
Damn Pickles!
You better watch your back when you get home.
There are a lot of VERY jealous DJs here!


Amsterdam: Great city! The last time we were there The Empress went out for "coffee" and was gone for three days. What is it about the "coffee" there Pickles?
Starbucks has a lot to learn from the Amsterdam Coffee Houses.


Barcelona: "The Metro"? Is that the place where you pee on a glass wall and everyone watches you from the other side?
(Or was that just me drunk peeing on some poor person's window)
And tell Jason to be careful on that scaffolding!


Paris: I agree... Right Bank. That's my girl.
As far as the big fat bears, I also have trouble with all you skinny little tooth pick bitches.
I can relate to Baby Daddy.
Well, now that I go to Bear Parties.


Madrid: Love it! The people are fab.

Lisbon: I've never been to Lisbon. I can't wait to grill you on her.


Tell Baby Daddy I know some hot new Bear parties when he gets back.

Baby Daddy

Attachments

Photos (1)
Pickles,
Tell everyone exactly what it is you do.
What is the show like?
(I didn't know you did 2 sets)
How long is a set, what do you play? Do you change it up from city to city?
What kind of drugs do you take.
Etc.
Your blog is becoming VERY popular but I don't think some people understand exactly what it is you are doing with The Scissor Sisters.
Pretend you are explaining it to your grandma.
Not to worry AN, I avoid bear bars at all cost unless I am on handholding duties with Babydaddy. Sadly though, no moroccan trip this time.

Ok, Daddy I'll explain. For those who don't quite know what it is I do do, I basically do a 1 hour dj set when the doors open, then there is an opening act for 30 mins, then I do about 40 mins more until the band are ready to come on stage. If I am a little elusive about discussing the band it's only because I don't want some idiot coming on here and taking stuff I say out of context and blasting it on their tabloid.com site. Yes it seems paranoid but the behavior I have witnessed already when it comes to being around SS would make anyone slightly paranoid. The whole fan/fame thing truly is bizarre when you see it happen to someone close to you. People who want to transfer adulation but also try and extract as much from you as they can. I'm not speaking of myself just what I see and perceive. Ok blah blah blah enough of that crap.
So anyway my job is to make sure the audience knows that it is a party and that they are expected to participate and not just stand and stare. Musically it's great for me because the fan base is so broad that all genres are appropriate. I've been playing pretty hard this trip which may have been problematic early on but once we headed south it turned them out. He he he

Now I am sitting in the Lisbon airport about to hop on a plane to Milan where I get to play at Club Billy (my first time) which is supposed to be some fierce big gay club that's been around since the T Rex. I am hungover as hell and the only thing saving me right now is being able to type this to you and the full Cure catalogue on my iPod. Now I think I have to head to my gate. Will be in touch soon...

"If only I was sure, that my head on the door was a dream...."
PS if there are dj's reading this who are red with jealousy, you should be. But would I EVER have thought it could happen to me? No, not in a million years. So if it happened to me it could to you too and when it does, soak up every fucking minute of it cause it could all go tits up.

Just a word of advice.
quote:
So if it happened to me it could to you too


Let me interrupt here...

I know what Pickles is trying to say. That he has been surprised by his good fortune etc. but the truth is it's probably never going to happen to you. There are more so-called "DJs" today than ever.
EVERYONE is a DJ!
Pickles is extremely talented and has been extremely lucky and works very hard but his life is the exception not the rule.
Go into DJing with your eyes open!
Unless you have a trust fund (and I know a lot of young DJs now do) this is a tough road.
But I have a question.

How much do your change your set from city to city?

I know that whenever I played in Italy or Spain I used to bring the REAL hard stuff. France and England were much funkier.

Do you ever start out in one direction but have to do a 180 mid-song?
i'm a picklehead!!
(kinda like a deadhead but for dj pickles.)
here's what i remember:

ghostbusters, r. parker, jr. ->
holiday, belzy ->
crazy right now, beyonce ->
screwed, p. hilton (dj a.m. remix) ->
club tropicana, wham! ->
vibeology, p. abdul ->
sexy back/toxic mashup ->
then a bunch more crap before...
is that all there is, p. lee

boy was i ready to party after that!!!!

honestly, i AM a picklehead.
i've learned SO MUCH from my sister.
and been DRIPPED in fierce music.
all the best gigs i've had... thanks to her.
i owe her ALOT!!
(i'll nurse you through your old age, hon.)
Are the tour's leftover pharmas gonna be on Ebay?

And who got the hottest sex on the road?

Sorry for these questions, but Daddy if this is a career development workshop for DJ's is there job placement assistance?

Congrats pick on the wrap up of a great gig. Thanks for the tour posts. Hope you get some rest soon.
Hello readers, apologies for my silence. Have been out of wireless reach so not able to post my post-SS wanderings. I promise to fill in the blanks tomorrow. Pics will have to wait as they are on my computer and I have to rely on the kindness and hours of internet cafes.

To answer one of your questions Seven, I had the hottest sex on tour only because I was the only one who scored some road pussy. All the band are partnered and faithful. I know, snoozzzzz...

More to come, including dancing on tables and what to do when someone whispers "te gusto?" in your ear.

Cheers!
Ok, so with my head full of Cure and severely lacking H2O I arrive in....

MILAN: where I am greeted by Mauro the promoter of Billy (the club night I am playing at) who's a dead ringer for Bobby Miller I kid you not, and my new agent (backstory: my previous agent got knocked up by her husband and had the baby after which she decided to say screw being an agent I wanna be a mom only, hey why not), Riccardo who lives in London but is from Milan so he came for the weekend. Both are lovely and instantly I begin to have jitters about the upcoming night. My daysheet, or itinerary, has a small disclaimer at the bottom saying the music direction of the club- house with some vocals, nothing too hard or deep. FUCK! The word electro does not even appear and if ever anyone asks me what I play I usually respond electro or electro-house. Riccardo assures me that I should do what I do and to ignore the sheet, that it's bullshit. A quick laydown at the hotel and then it's dinner with 2 of the other dj's (Kareem from Paris and Paul Heron from London- whom I recognize from a club called Orange which is a fierce den of iniquity, like always 8 boys per bathroom stall) and the guest performer Barbara Tucker. Rumours of Barbara's diva-like behaviour circle the table before she arrives. When she does she's absolutely pleasant. Even after Kareem squirts lemon juice in her eye. Oops, sorry. Paul Riccardo and I get on like Jacko's hair on fire and spend the dinner pretty much ignoring everyone else. Not intentionally of course, we just happen to form a sewing circle at the end of the table, "...and THEN what did she say Marjorie?" Paul's quite a cutie, but he has a boyfriend so it's just hopeless flirting on my part. Still, he vollies well. Later on we arrive at the club during Kareem's set which is pretty tribal-y/housey. In my head I'm going "Oh god oh god oh god!" Now maybe you are thinking, "What the fuck? Just play your gdmf-ing set. This aint your first time in a dj booth!" But for me I feel like this is the first gig with my new agent, my first gig in Milan at a club (THE gay club in Italy supposedly), I've got to nail it. Here goes...

My set is to happen at 2:30am after Barbara does 3 songs (she is bookending my set, playing before and after). Mild disaster strikes when Barabra's 3rd song is skipping (luckily the dj had listened to it in his headphones before playing it to discover this fact). Barbara, obviously getting frustrated with stalling the crowd just turns to me and says on the mic "Play something with no vocal, let's freeform a bit". I hit play on my first track which is a hot song called "Here We Go", and those are the only words in the song. Before she even hears them she is singing "Gaaalaaaaxyyyy! Let's go to the gaaalaaxyyyyy!" When the beat drops in after a minute intro, the whole floor (and Barbara) drop 2 feet and it is ON! Synchronicity, she is a kind mistress sometimes. Towards the end of the song Miss Tucker has abandoned talk of galaxies and is now just singing "Pride (A Deeper Love)" over the track. I'm gagging. She finishes and I just launch into my set which goes great. Riccardo was right. I go hard electro and they eat it up. The rest of the night is a blur of vodka, curled bills, and steroid gogo boys as I witness something that feels like a new chapter in my life. The Italian Job.
That's my girl!
All your Jackie 60 training paid off.
Very few people can tune into the Disco Goddess of Snychronicity.
(In the club world a DJ has to work with a pantheon of Gods. The Disco Gods. Sometimes they can be very cruel and sometimes they can elevate you to Mount Olympus. The Disco Goddess of Synchronicity can be a real bitch. It's good that she like you Pickles).

Barbara Tucker is very nice. I don't get the Diva rep. That free form show that you described is VERY old school. Barbara knows The Disco Goddess of Synchronicity very well.

Do you remember the time at Jackie 60 when India was there and I played two records (yes, records) of Love Hangover back and forth giving her just the bass line and drums? India sang a freeform version of Love Hangover over my spontaneous "track" for like 20 minutes. (I thought my hands were gonna fall off they got so tired of mixing back and forth). It was amazing though.
Barbar Tucker comes from that school and now... SO DO YOU!!!

I went to go hear this kid play last night. (My second time going to hear him). He's very ambitious and wants to follow in your footsteps Pickles. He mixes like a pro, plays great songs but I couldn't figure out why I can't do anything with this kid until now. He has NO spontenaety what-so-ever. No magic. I could never see this guy pulling off the Barbara Tucker thing that you just described.
You have always been special Pickles. Even when you were a baby you had that "thing".

BTW
I'm glad to see that you are finally getting some slap and tickle!
The Empress and I have been worried about you.

Also...
Congratulations, your blog had the most page views of any single topic on The Motherboards last month!

The Disco Goddess of Synchronicity

Attachments

Photos (1)
Daddy I was totally thinking of Jackie when the whole free form thing was going on. I don't think I was there when India riffed (you know I may have been propped up at Hatties 12 count pour/poor bar), but I remembered (get ready for brownness...) Joan Osbourne getting on the mic and wailing. It felt like that. Who did you hear last night? PM it to me cause I wonder if it's the same person I see as coming up right behind me but he's still a bit green. Anyway, it's taken years of your training but finally I'm feeling the disco goddess at work in me. "Oh yeah she DO!"
Alright, so where were we? The night after Billy we go to dinner at this dj's amazing apt in Milan she shares with her girlfriend. A few of their lady friends are there to and I think how long it's been since I was in primarily lady company, ok lesbian company. And this was a fierce group of dykes like I remember from NYC. The hostess (DJ Milly) used to live in NYC and so I immediately play the name game with her about places she played (Chez Es Saada...check). But the best was when she turned to me and asked, "Do you remember Cafe Tabac?" I howled cause to me that was the beginning of the restaurant as nightclub phenomenon. I know it didn't start there but that happened right as I moved into the city so for me it was. I even remember one night at Cake when some queen turned to me and said "Oh my god, remember Cafe Tabac??? And it was still open and a fully-functioning restaurant." Dinner was fab and so good to have a home-cooked meal. The next day I am up early to wander around the city with Ric and then drive to....

GENOA: I get picked up at my hotel in Milan by the club owner (speaks little english) and his friend (speaks more english). It's an interesting 2 hour drive as we navigate the familiar (to them)Italian countryside as well as the familiar (to me) english language. Arriving in the seaside town of Genoa I am in awe of the houses and buildings perched along the cliffs. Really stunning views both of the sea and the shore make it one of those postcard towns. I go to the hotel for a wee nap then it's dinner at the restaurant/club. Andre (owner's friend) explains that it is almost the end of the winter season at which point the club moves to an indoor/outdoor location. Becasue the weather is so nice that day it is hard to tell what the crowd will be like since everyone likes to stay outside and drink if it's nice out (understandably so). Thus, for the first time ever I am praying for rain on a night I have to dj. No luck, despite a few dark clouds with empty promises. I go out on the town with Andre as he hands out fliers...big mistake. In a quite comedic fashion he grabs peoples attention and hands them an invite (which has my pic and far too much Scissor reference for me to feel comfortable) to which the overwhelming response seems "Ehn...think I'm staying home tonight." It was genius. Like getting hit in the face with a fish over and over. I leave Andre to his barking and slip away to the club to salvage any remaining self esteem. As it turns out, the club gets packed and they are dancing the night away on the tables and bar. I get far too drunk and almost crush a girl as we fall off a table and hit what feels like several chairs on the way down. Both of us are fine but to apologize I decided it's essential to buy her a bottle of champagne...clearly I do not think "Maybe the fall should clue you to not drink anymore!" Oh well, hopefully I will learn someday. Till then it's "Bottle of champagne for Lulu!" I end up paying for the bottle in so many ways by morning when I feel like something the cat threw up. Luckily all I have to do is sit on a train to Florence and finish my book "The Good German" which I absolutely LOVED btw.
Jeez Cafe Tabac... i used to go there ALL the time. I used to really enjoy it there and had some funny nights there. Infact I was only just talking about the place the other day, very Eurotrash (I fitted totally in!)... as I met Ahmet Ertegun there one night and he invited me to his table with him an Mika and it was a total hoot of an unexpected night... then there was the night that Geraldo kept sending bottles of Crytal to my table..that night I ended up in Nell's with him and him beggin me outside my Horatio st apt to come it ! LOL
Tabac was good to me for some funny nights. So sad that Tim (maitre d) of the upstairs was killed. So sad, he was such a luv.

Pickles... am loving reading this... we should send u out more often... more tales of foreign boys please.
Figures you'd know DJ Milly. We had a nice reminisce about Jackie. I kept thinking when I was talking to her "She MUST know MO'B" but never got the chance to ask. So let's see where are we... Ah yes leaving Genoa. Oh but first here are some pics...

Attachments

Photos (1)
FLORENCE: So I had 3 days off to kill before I have to be in Naples for the weekend so I decided to go to Florence. Now, I had been here (gulp) 14 years ago, and though there are plenty of cities in Italy I haven't been too, I thought I'd hit a familiar one so I'd feel slightly more at ease. Plus I knew a day had to be wasted taking care of stupid stuff like paying rent, sending winter clothes back home to lighten my load, and do laundry, so why not do it in Florence. No logic really it just seemed easiest. Actually there is some logic because doing all this travelling does not necessarily inspire one to explore other cities when you've got days off. The familiar is calming and repairs all those nerve endings fried from back to back jobs and being nightclubbed. I arrive in the evening in Florence and jump into a cab to take me to my online lastminute.com hotel which turns out to be a block from the train station, but the taxi driver and his wife insist it is worth the 10 euros on the meter. I'm in no frame of mind to argue and merely damn them to hell in the elevator up to reception. My hotel is very basic but perfect for a 3 day layover. The windows open to a courtyard which saves me from the street noise (not that this will matter as you will find out).
I grab a bite to eat and then off to sleep. Well, off to bed really. Sleep in Florence becomes somewhat difficult. I have no idea why but I could not get to sleep all 3 nights I'm in Florence. I try reading, tablets, drinking, drinking and tablets, and nothing seems to work. Really bizarre and kind of freaks me out so I spend the days wandering the city but not really taking in anything. Pity. Also my good weather mileage has clearly run out cause it is cold and wet. By Friday I am happy to board my eurostar to Naples.

Now, Riccardo had warned me that Naples, while exciting and lovely in a vintage kind of way, can also be very consuming and as he put it "too mucha in your face all de time." The minute I step off the train I understand. It looks like nothing has been washed or restored in years (if ever at all). It's not that it is dirty, but rather decaying. A friend later offered the explanation, "Well darling, they are living right next to Vesuvius which could erupt at any minute. Why renovate?" Apocolyptic, but pragmatic. I'm sure there's other reasons but this seems the most interesting to me. Another interesting thing about Naples is the lawlessness of the roads. Yellow, green, and red are merely suggestions, and everything is one way...your way. Since everyone has agreed there are no rules, no one thinks anyone is getting away with anything. A kind of strange socialism is how it appears to be to me. We're all in this together, capiche? My guide and caretaker while I am in Naples is a lovely man named Angelo. First we have to go to a store called Fnac (like Circuit City) where they have asked me to have a press conference. Ok, stop laughing. No really. I find it just as funny as you but let me walk you through this. I had agreed via email to do a press conference but I explained to the promoter "As long as they know I am not a member of Scissor Sisters, and that they can't start asking me questions like, 'What inspired you to write Take Your Mama?' cause it will be very awkward." All is understood but they wanna still do it because as they explain it, I'm the closest thing they'll get to any of the band coming to Naples so it's good enough. Thanks...I think. In Fnac they have a cafe next to which they've set up a little stage with a drum kit and a dj setup. There's about 30 chairs in rows facing the stage and 2 stools with mics. Your standard interview/press conference setup, well minus the drum kit and dj setup. The first people to arrive after several announcements have been made over the PA are about 8 men and women, not one of whom is under 70. I don't know if they are journalists, music lovers, or just needed a seat. Have a look...
Genius, right? I'm living and happy to start right then and there but the Fnacsters say to wait a little longer. A bout 20 more people plop down with some interest, including 2 kids who are super excited and obviously big fans of the band. Whatever, I'll take it. The woman interviewing me is a doll and the whole process takes less than 20 minutes with zero questions coming from the audience. But they clap when it's over. Very polite. Off to the hotel for some rest (finally!) before heading to my first gig in Naples at some seaside posh club. I feel like I rock 'em but my set gets chopped by 20 minutes which I assume means "uh, no." But the next day it is explained to me that there were some fierce dj politics involved with the resident dj and that I should not be concerned. Besides Angelo says tonight (Saturday) is gonna be a REALLY fab party because I'll be djing outside on the beach. WERK! I'm into that. Meanwhile my friend Mykle, whom many of you may know as Purple Pants from the door at Mr Black, is coming from Rome to hang out all night with his friend in Naples and support a sister. Oh, and did I also mention it's my birthday. Everything lined up to be a good night. All I neeeded was one of the notoriously loose-moralled Napolian straight studs and the package is complete. Mykle and I are having dinner at a pizza joint down the road from the hotel when I get a text from Angelo, "PLEASE call me! Have to cancel tonight. Club owner won't open club because rain." Now it had been kind of gloomy and grey all day but no sign or sound of rain. Angelo explains to me that it is too damp and cold by the beach so the owner of the venue refuses to open cause he thinks he'll loose money. Okaaaaay, so now what. So, no gig tonight. A quick call to Riccardo and the financial settlement is reached and boom I have the night off. Of course I had already psyched myself up for the gig so I'm quite disappointed. Nevertheless Mykle and I decide to take this opportunity to explore Naples' gay nightlife. This entails driving around in a tax for over an hour to 4 different places, all of which have obviously been shuttered for quite some time. Not a shred of rainbow flag in sight. Whoever said the internet had to be accurate? Discouraged at 2am I bid farewell to Mykle and head back to the hotel to get 3 hours sleep before I have to get back in a taxi and go to the airport. Happy birthday to me.
Oh Pickles, that was rich!
A press conference?
I never had a press conference with old people!

and CHOPPED:
OK, now I get it.
So that's why you got chopped in Naples.
Pay it no mind.
DJ politics in Europe can be FIERCE! (as you know)
One time I got chopped down to a 15 minute set.
The Empress and I were thrilled and just partied the night away.
Resident DJs there find it VERY hard to give up one minute of their precious DJ time.
In Europe (as you know Pickles but I'm filling in the readers) DJs play sets. Usually 2 or 3 hours. They rarely play the 14 hour marathons that we do in New York. There might be 5 DJs all fighting for dominance with their (usually pre-programed) sets.
And they get VERY jealous of other DJs.
And DJs in Naples...
I can't even imagine!
You're lucky you made it out of there in one piece.

BTW
My very good friend Nick Scotti was born in Naples.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
×
×
×
×